From today, millions of Australians will pay up to 29 per cent less for their Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescriptions, with the maximum PBS co-payment dropping from $42.50 to $30.
The Albanese Government has delivered on our key election promise to make medicines cheaper for Australians.
For the first time in the 75-year history of the PBS, the co-payment for general scripts has fallen.
For a family relying on two or three medications, this can put as much as $450 back into their household budget.
Also today, Australians with eye disease, a rare blood disorder or asthma will have access to new and expanded medicine listings under the PBS.
Vabysmo® (faricimab) will be listed for the first time to treat both diabetic macular oedema (DMO) and neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (nAMD).
DMO and nAMD both affect a person’s sight.
Last year more than 18,000 people with DMO and 62,000 people with nAMD accessed comparable treatments through the PBS.
Without the PBS subsidy, patients might pay more than $4,000 a year for treatment.
The listing of Darzalex SC® (daratumumab) will be expanded to treat amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis in combination with other PBS listed medicines.
AL amyloidosis is a rare condition where deposits of a protein called amyloid caused by an underlying bone marrow disorder, lead to damage to various organs, such as the kidneys or the heart, and stop them from functioning properly.
Without subsidy, treatment could cost patients more than $243,000 per course of treatment. Around 160 Australians will benefit from this new treatment option each year.
Trimbow® (belcometasone with formoterol and glycopyrronium) will also be listed for the maintenance treatment of severe asthma.
Around 1,200 patients used comparable therapy last year and would pay more than $1,000 per year without subsidy for this additional treatment option.
Since July 1 there has been additional funding approved for 61 new and amended listings on the PBS.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“The Government has delivered on our commitment to cut the cost of medications for millions of Australians.
“Pharmacists have told me stories of their customers coming in with a handful of prescriptions asking for advice about which script they can go without, because they can't afford to fill them all.
“Our cheaper medicines policy will make that choice redundant for millions of Australians.”
Quotes attributable to Colin Johns, Pharmacist, TerryWhite Chemmart Findon, SA:
“I applaud the Australian Government for reducing the co-payment for PBS medicines for patients who don’t have a concession card.
“This has resulted from discussions between the Pharmacy Guild and the Australian Government.
“Community pharmacy in partnership with the Australian Government is committed to improving patient outcomes and especially in times of rising living costs, no patient should ever have to choose between lifesaving medication and food on the table.
“This reduction will be of benefit to the Australian community.”